January 26, 2024 at 5:00:00 PM
Maddie Weiss ‘25
Mean Girls, Percy Jackson, and Snow White: names we have heard since childhood. Movies that were iconic for a reason. Currently, they are also movies being remade.
Movies are very difficult to make, involving a long, complicated process that includes writing, filming, editing, and marketing. When done properly, the work put into the film is evident and creates an amazing viewing experience. However, in a world where money is a priority instead of art, this process shatters and what is left is often a lifeless, superficial movie. A great example of this is the recent Hollywood trend of remaking movie classics from the past. We have seen a gradual increase in numbers over the years, starting with Disney-live action remakes and now with their even more unnecessary “retellings.”
Classic films can have flaws. There are plot holes or a lack of diversity in the childhood films we all love, but this does not mean we must re-make iconic films to correct the diversity-related flaws. Instead, it would be more beneficial to create an entirely new story where well-thought-out and complex new characters are introduced. I have to ask, are movie remakes truly designed to incorporate diversity or acts of lazy corporate greed?
In my opinion, the remakes have lost the spark. Part of the reason that the original movies are so beloved is that they are timeless. They don’t reference social media like TikTok or Instagram, updates which only disconnect viewers from the story. The most obvious reason why producers feel the need to regurgitate the past is that they know what works, and they are afraid of straying away from previously successful projects. They prey on the nostalgic feelings audiences get when they see their childhood favorites being created again, knowing that they will have an audience willing to pay.
However, viewers are becoming increasingly aware of this tactic, and they are not happy. Remakes are getting lower and lower ratings with each new release, and people are becoming less likely to spend money on them. They would much rather watch the original than a lifeless, less entertaining copy. The main issue with most of these remakes is that they are a copy. Nothing about the plot is different, and the story becomes predictable. Even though the plotlines were once well-received, they lack the character and charm that the originals carry. This is something that can not be replicated because it happens naturally.
Another recent letdown in the theaters is the Mean Girls movie-musical film adaptation, which combined the 2004 film with the Broadway show. While the production contains the same songs as the Broadway show, they sounded sleepy and uninteresting, like a pop song an influencer wrote. It lacked the emotion of the Broadway show as well, and the parts drawn from the original movie were no better.
In a world where originality is becoming more and more scarce, Hollywood needs to get out of the rut it is currently in.